Townscape Partners announced on Monday that architect Frank Gehry has been selected to design its proposed mixed-use development at 8150 Sunset Blvd.
Townscape’s partners Tyler Siegel and John Irwin said their vision is to create an environmentally sensitive building that complements and contributes to the historic architecture in the neighborhood.
Gehry is a Pritzker Prize-winning architect based in Los Angeles who is also known for designing the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. He said this is an opportunity to reshape an important corner of the city and design a critical urban infill project along one of the city’s major thoroughfares. He has started the initial design development process and plans are expected to be released this spring.
“After listening to the high priority placed on design by civic leaders in the city of Los Angeles and the local community, we knew there was only one choice for the preeminent architect of our time, and he happens to be local,” Siegel said. “Frank Gehry’s deep understanding of the property, its history and the context will elevate the project to the iconic and timeless status that it deserves. It is exceedingly rare to have the opportunity to work with an architect of this caliber on an infill, mixed-use project, and we feel very fortunate to have Frank and his team on board.”
One of the largest contiguous parcels of land on the Sunset Strip, the buildings at 8150 Sunset (at the intersection of Crescent Heights Boulevard) would combine 249 apartments with greenery and extensive open spaces connecting to a central plaza with an emphasis on pedestrian and bicycle access.
In recent years, the Sunset Strip has experienced an increase in hotel, restaurant and nightclub options, but has been limited in the creation of a strong residential community that would solidify the area as a walkable urban village, the developers said. At street level, the development at 8150 Sunset would provide new restaurants and community-serving retail spaces, while residents will also have access to elevated, open-air spaces on rooftops.
“The site has had historical significance over the course of the last several generations, and it is poised to become the eastern gateway to the Sunset Strip for future generations,” Gehry said. “The project has the potential to be something very special, and I am honored to be a part of unlocking that potential.”
A citizens group has emerged in opposition to the project as currently proposed. Save Sunset Boulevard has called for a smaller and more responsible development at the site, and the group is retaining an attorney.
The development’s draft environmental impact report (DEIR) comment period ended in January. The final environmental impact report (FEIR) has not yet been released. After the release of the FEIR, the development would still need to pass the Los Angeles City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee and then the full city council.
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